As usual, updates are long overdue. First of all, the latest on the white Cooper, which is not good news at all; the dropgears have eaten each other, which meant the gearbox had to come apart and some expensive components replaced.
It all started when I accelerated away from a traffic light. A crunch, and for a few seconds I had trouble getting it in gear. However, I did get in in gear and it appeared to be OK. Except for a slight, high-pitched whine I didn't think I'd heard before. I participated in the ghymkana at the Mini club day which took place in Utrecht that day. However, during the day I wondered whether the whine (which was hardly noticeable at first) started to become worse; it definately was noticeable by now.
The next day, my dad took the car to the garage, where it was set to get its annual APK (much like the MOT). They didn't like the sound of it there either, so they started out with the oil change. That's where the work stopped too, because the magnetic oil plug looked like a christmas tree and out with the oil came some metal fragments which could only be the teeth from gears and needles from needle bearings.
Funds didn't permit to continue at that time, but the car is at the garage to be fixed right now. Here's a picture of one of the drop gears and of the clutch cover. These and more pictures you can find in the photo's section of the site. Note 30-9-2017: The photos section is no more. If you are really interested, drop me a note and I'll see if I can find the pictures.